Pensioners in Cross River under the auspices of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) on Wednesday showed their dissatisfaction with the palliative they were given to share.
This was disclosed by Mr Godwin Effiong, Chairman of NUP, Calabar Branch in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar.
NAN reports that the Calabar branch of NUP covers five Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the Southern Senatorial District of the state including Odukpani, Calabar Municipality, Calabar South, Akpabuyo and Bakassi.
According to Effiong, on record, the union has over 2.5 million members from the five LGAs which he covers because many of their members who retired from LGAs in the central and northern Cross River but reside in Calabar were incorporated into their group.
He said, with this huge number it is difficult to organise but for the appointment of coordinators in each LGA, they initially heard that pensioners in the state would receive 800 bags of rice.
“All of a sudden, it was cut down because pensioners in the state are of two categories, the state and the LG pensioners.
“The LG pensioners belong to a group called Pensioners Association which they carved out for themselves and we also have NUP for the state retirees; so the palliative was shared between the two groups almost equally.
“It was grossly insufficient because some people went home with just three cups of rice while others got between five to seven cups because we wanted it to go round to avoid complaints later,” he said.
He noted that calling a pensioner who resided around 8 Miles area of Calabar to come to the NUP office for three to five cups of rice when his or her transportation cost to and fro was almost N1,000, was absurd.
While appreciating the Federal Government for the palliative, he commended Governor Otu for the additional N10,000 on salaries and pensions in the state for the next six months.
He however added that he was not satisfied as the quantity of rice given to them was not enough, even though they had to ensure that every member got something.